Jeremy Rodock is a tough horse rancher who strings up rustlers soon as look at them. Fresh out of Pennsylvania, Steve Miller finds it hard to get used to Rodock's ways, although he takes an immediate shine to his Greek girl Jocasta. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Robert Francis was originally cast in the role of Steve Miller but he died in a plane crash two weeks before he was set to begin filming on location in Colorado. He was replaced by Don Dubbins. See more »
[Explaining to Jocasta why he must go search out and hang the horse thieves, in spite of Jo's wishes to the contrary]
Jo... you come as close to bein'... well, as close to bein' everything to me as anything livin'. But I still can't do what you want me to do. We're livin' in the middle of nowhere. Two hundred miles from any kind of law and order. Except for what I built myself. Ever since I started - and this you don't know - I've been badgered, skunked, bitten out and bushwhacked by thieves ...
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Plenty of scenery emphasises the remoteness and isolation of Rodock's valley. 200 miles from anywhere else, Rodock is the law, there being no-one else to police his horse range. Cagney gives a fine portrayal of the stern stony-heart towards those who cross him or steal his horses, who fails to comprehend Steve and Jo, the ones who represent humanitarian conscience, kindness and mercy.
Because it's partly an emblematic morality tale, we get a few too many long significant looks and widescreen shots to make it look big, but there's a good strong plotline to hold it together. It's not a shoot 'em up, just some rustling wars between neighbouring farmers who hate each other's guts, and some jealousy over the woman, but it hangs together decently enough.
The characters aren't exactly complex, but the actors all turn in better than average performances.
It's a very well-made movie, fairly simple ingredients put together by a really good cook, if very slightly ponderously.
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